Read about the life and work of the Attingham Wardens
Attingham Park is a National Trust property comprising of an 18th Century mansion set in a Repton landscape; the Park and wider Estate includes a deer park, walled garden, several miles of the rivers Severn and Tern, extensive farmland and woodlands.
Monday, 18 March 2013
Last week I walked across the Deer Park at the end of the day, checking on some work that had been done and how the paths are withstanding the continued wet weather. I saw a patch of blue on the grass and went to investigate, finding a tattered Chinese sky lantern. These lanterns are very controversial - they are popular at weddings and New Year celebrations and last year it was estimated that over 200,000 were bought in the UK, but they pose severe threat to wildlife and livestock because they are made with thin, sharp wire and bamboo. The wire and bamboo can break and splinter and if ingested can cause internal bleeding and death - there are many recorded instances of this happening to cattle. Birds can get hit by them and caught up as they fall to the ground - barn owls have been found dead amongst lantern debris. Fires can be started if the candle is still flaming - hay barns etc are at risk. Stock and wildlife can also get caught up in the wire, which was my immediate concern for the deer. If a deer gets anything caught on its antlers - wire, plastic bags etc. - they panic and try to run away from it, causing stress, exhaustion and likely death. In other countries, these lanterns have been banned due to the dangers and farmers are calling for a similar ban here. Please discourage the use of sky lanterns, and if you come across one in the countryside then please pick it up and dispose of it safely - you could be saving something from injury or death.
We also had a working party from Natural England join us for an afternoon of hazel planting. The hazel will be coppiced in the future for hedge laying materials. We planted them under the new power lines so that we can control the height of growth and reduce the need for the power company to come out and cut trees growing through the lines. Despite only having a few hours together we managed to plant 150 trees as well as a good look around the area and walk to and from site - so thank you Natural England team!
Finally just a quick note to my fellow dog owners - the meadow in the middle of the Mile Walk is now closed as the tenant farmer, Mr Dixon, wil be using it again to graze his cattle and grow a silage crop.